Pakistan on Thursday listed Raymond Davis case, American unilateral raid to kill Osama bin Laden and the recent NATO strike as some of the reasons for the “tense” relations with U.S. this year which Islamabad says it is trying to put back on track.
Pakistan Foreign office spokesperson Abdul Basit admitted that its relations with the U.S. remained tense and experienced ups and down during the current year due to some incidents, including the American military's unilateral raid to kill Osama bin Laden and the last month's U.S.-led NATO attack on border posts that killed 24 soldiers.
While giving a review of foreign relations during 2011, Mr. Basit said the killing of two nationals by an American official Raymond Davis in Lahore in February also badly affected bilateral relationship.
Mr. Davis was a CIA contractor, who was later freed after agreement was reached to compensate the families of the slain Pakistanis — in what is known as “blood money.”
Refuting the impression that Pakistan and the U.S. are not on talking terms, the spokesman said, “We are on speaking terms with the U.S. and are trying to put our relations back on track.”
The spokesman said Parliamentary Committee on National Security was reviewing Pak-U.S. relations and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that its recommendations will be presented to the joint session of Parliament for final approval on the issue of revisiting the relations with the U.S.
Mr. Basit said Pakistan wanted good relations with the US based on “mutual respect and dignity” adding that there will be no compromise on national integrity and sovereignty.
He did not give details about the proposals.
The group, which met after a hiatus of four years, discussed “new initiatives and reviewed the implementation of CBMs already in place,” he said.
“There is no point in speculating about the response of one side or other side about some specific proposals,” he added.
Asked about the Kashmir issue, Mr. Basit said Pakistan wanted “black laws” to be revoked to improve the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “We support their legitimate aspirations and there is a debate going on in India as well, to this effect. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are against the Public Safety Act, the Disturbed Areas Act and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act,” he contended.
Mr. Basit said Pakistan's relations with its neighbours were a “foremost priority” for foreign policy.
For Afghanistan peace
“Pakistan has always worked and will continue working towards promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is a sovereign country and the reconciliation process should be Afghan-led and Afghan owned,” he remarked.